Tuesday, November 12, 2013

#printoctober: collagraph

A day late and a dollar short is pretty much the story of my life. So a #printoctober post happens in November.... better late than never.

A collagraph is a plate that has things attached to it. It can be intaglio wiped like an etching or relief rolled. The plates I made today are relief rolled. You can use just about any to attach to the plate. I cut up a cardboard box. Everything I used was recycleable. 

What you need:

a plate I used cardboard. Styrofoam also works really well.
stuff: think texture, cardboard, mesh fruit bag, grocery store plastic bag, string

Have a game plan, or not. I was going for the ongoing prairie theme and thinking about the mark-making which has become increasingly important in my work. Below, left : string, center: plastic grocery bag, peeled corrugated cardboard and a mesh lemon bag, right: peeled corrugated cardboard.


Once you have the plate created, simply roll it out as you would any other relief plate. These can be run through a press but don't need one. You can run a baren over the paper to transfer it, or a dry brayer, or a spoon.


peeled corrugated cardboard

grocery bag, cardboard, mesh bag
These are heading into the Oliver Brown show next week at CornerStone Gallery in Whiting. I've made another series of collagraphs during the Live Art event at Paul Henry's. They can be seen here, and are available as part of the silent auction. 50% of the proceeds from these pieces will be donated to the National Autism Association in Northwest Indiana.

For as much as I love the peeled cardboard, I think I may love the grocery bags more. I used them a lot during the Live Art and loved the effect. This past spring I taught a collagraph class and the item that printed best was the O-rings from milk jugs. Have you tried collagraph? What gave you the best texture?


  1. I like the plastic grocery bags best too... I want to try this sometime. Your work at PHG was interesting! ~~Nancie

    1. Thanks, Nancie! This will sound contradictory, but I think they have a more organic feel to them, and I think that is what I particularly like. They were very effective in the prairie grasses.

  2. So you wrapped a cardboard plate in white plastic grocery bags? Brilliant! Did you glue them down or gesso them before printing, and did you use a press? I would think a press would crush the cardboard....